Saturday, October 17, 2020

Joe Buck's 1000th Game And Other Stories

 Has it really been most of a month since we did the announcer milestones update? Well, things have to slow down now, with all three tennis majors over for the year and a maximum of 10 MLB games left.

And since we do these in chronological order, consider the lead (the big round number of the day) buried.

Announcer totals here are complete through end of day Friday, Oct. 16.

  1. September 23: Mark Jackson calls his 550th national NBA telecast in Game 4 of the Celtics-Heat series. He's the ninth person to that milestone overall and the fourth color commentator to get there, trailing Hubie Brown, Jeff Van Gundy and Doug Collins.
  2. September 23: Mike Emrick calls his 1,074th national NHL telecast between the U.S. and Canada, tying longtime Hockey Night in Canada analyst Harry Neale for the seventh-most appearances on the sport between the two countries. Emrick passes Neale two days later with game number 1,075.
  3. September 24: With Game 4 of the Lakers-Nuggets series, Brian Anderson calls his 117th national NBA telecast, passing Dan Shulman for no. 16 on the PBP announcer list.
  4. September 25: The Cubs-White Sox game is Rick Sutcliffe's 577th national MLB telecast as a color commentator, which passes John Madden for 12th-most among the four major U.S. sports. Including Hockey Night in Canada, Sutcliffe is 17th among analysts.
  5. September 25: Jim Hughson calls his 1,300th telecast in our records (this includes a bunch of Canadian NHL games, several American NHL games and a solitary MLB telecast). He's the fifth person to get to the 1,300 plateau (trailing Bob Cole, Dick Stockton, Marv Albert and Pierre McGuire).
  6. September 26: The Phillies play the Rays on the last weekend of the MLB regular season, but more importantly John Smoltz calls his 400th national MLB telecast. He's the 17th person to reach that mark (more on 400 below) and the fifth color man to get there (behind Joe Morgan, Tim McCarver, Tony Kubek and Sutcliffe).
  7. September 26: The Stanley Cup Final plays on back-to-back days and Jim Hughson calls his 1,300th NHL game in our records between the U.S. and Canada. The only other two people to have done that are Bob Cole and Pierre McGuire.
  8. September 27: The Moose gets loose and Daryl Johnston breaks down his 350th NFL game as the 49ers play the Giants on Fox. He's the 21st NFL game-caller to reach the 350 mark and the seventh analyst to get there (Madden, Dierdorf, Simms, Maguire, Aikman and Collinsworth got there first).
  9. September 27: For the first time, the Las Vegas Raiders make an appearance in these pages as they play the Patriots in Massachusetts. CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz handles the play-by-play of his 400th NFL game, the ninth PBP man and 16th person overall to do that. (Michaels, Stockton, Criqui, Summerall, Jones, Enberg, Harlan and Kenny Albert were the first eight PBP men. If you knew that ... wow.)
  10. September 27: The final game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals ends in a tie ... in the announcer listings. Jeff Van Gundy calls his 708th national game, all as an NBA color man, tying Gary Green of hockey fame for 12th-most in our aggregated color commentator rankings. JVG finishes the pass with Game 1 of the Finals on Sept. 30.
  11. September 28: The last game of the NHL season sees Ed Olczyk call his 771st national telecast, matching the number handled by Pat Summerall in our records. They share 19th place on our American big-four-sports list until next season starts (or we adjust some historical records). 
  12. October 4: Pam Oliver becomes the first NFL sideline reporter to work 450 games when the Browns play the Cowboys. Only 10 people have appeared on more NFL telecasts than Oliver.
  13. October 5: Here's how long Pam Oliver has been a fixture on NFL sidelines. Tracy Wolfson is CBS's lead sideline reporter and has been since 2014. That includes a couple of years where she double-dipped on Sunday and Thursday, and she was with CBS before she moved up to the top team. Wolfson is barely a third of the way to Oliver's total. Her 159th game, the Monday Evening Football special between the Patriots and Chiefs, ties her with Suzy Kolber for fifth-most in NFL history by a sideline reporter (trailing Oliver, Michele Tafoya, Laura Okmin and Armen Keteyian). She finishes the pass with her 160th game, Giants-Cowboys, on Oct. 11.
  14. October 8: Baseball decides to show up on this list again. Matt Vasgersian calls Game 3 of the Dodgers-Padres series on MLB Network, tying Steve Physioc for the 13th-most national telecasts by a play-by-play announcer. They both have 311. They both will for the foreseeable future as this was Vasgersian's last game of the season.
  15. October 8: In that same Dodgers-Padres game 3, John Smoltz calls his 403rd national MLB telecast, matching Gary Thorne for 16th-most on record. The series ended that night, so he wouldn't complete the pass (with game no. 404, matching Atlanta's classic area code) until the NLCS opener on Oct. 12.
  16. October 11: Farther down the NFL sideline reporter list, Jennifer Hale ties Bonnie Bernstein with her 141st game as a reporter, Panthers-Falcons. They share ninth place on that list until Sunday, unless something weird happens.
  17. October 11: One of Fox's original NFL announcers, Kenny Albert, ties Paul Maguire for 13th on the NFL telecasts list with his 428th game as the Eagles meet the Steelers. Albert will break that tie on Sunday, unless something weird happens.
  18. October 12: In addition to the John Smoltz/Atlanta area code thing mentioned in item no. 15, the NLCS opener between the Dodgers and Braves is Tom Verducci's 400th MLB telecast. He's the 18th person to get to that point.
  19. October 13: Tom Verducci's 196th game as a sideline reporter, Braves-Dodgers game 2, ties Heather Cox for 16th on our list in the four major pro sports. He passes her the next night in Game 3.
  20. October 16: Game 5 of the Dodgers-Braves series is the 1,000th time Joe Buck has handled play-by-play for a network NFL or MLB telecast. He is the ninth person overall and seventh PBP man to get there in the U.S.; including Canada he's 17th and 11th respectively.
  21. October 16: Game 5 of the Dodgers-Braves series is also John Smoltz's 408th MLB telecast, tying Curt Gowdy for 15th all-time.

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